After proof of complications with the use of cox-2 inhibitors, a widely used anti-inflammatory drug, more and more people are looking for a natural arthritis treatment that could alleviate their pain. Many alternative therapies can offer effective and safe solutions for those who wants to avoid the serious side effects of conventional pain medication.
This article will review the most commonly used methods to get natural arthritis pain relief: nutrition, exercise, relaxation and acupuncture. We hope it will help you define your own natural arthritis treatment plan.
Nutritional Healing With The Arthritis Diet
Having a healthy diet is important for any individual, but it is crucial for arthritis patients. Nutrition can play an important role as a natural arthritis treatment. It can both have preventive and healing effects. The goals of a nutritional approach to arthritis would be to:
Maintain a proper weight
Individuals who have osteoarthritis will benefit greatly from achieving a normal weight in order to decrease the stress on the joints. Thus, the diet goal would be to obtain and maintain proper body weight. This should be achieved by eating healthy and balanced meals, not with a crash diet.
Good foods for arthritis
Nature has always been generous by providing us with plenty of foods possessing healing properties. Here is a list of foods known to have anti-inflammatory and pain reduction properties: oily fish, pineapple, celery, ginger, sesame seeds, red chili peppers, raw cabbage.
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Natural sources of omega-3 are oily fish, flax seeds and flax oil, walnuts, beans, soya, winter squash, olive oil.
Foods to avoid with arthritis
It is a scientific fact that omega-6 fatty acids increase inflammation in the body. Avoid corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil or sunflower oil. Other high sources: poultry, meat.
A lot of nutritionists suggest keeping away from dairy products as they seem to worsen rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups.
Another dietary change that reportedly helps individuals who have arthritis is an alkaline diet. Proponents of this diet believe that arthritis is caused by too much acid in the body that is perpetuated by the diet we eat. Adherents to this method exclude sugar, coffee, red meat, most grains and citrus fruits. It is meant to be followed for just 30 days.
Dietary supplements like chondroitin, glucosamine, omega-3 have proven to be effective in supporting joint health. Chondroitin and glucosamine studies have shown they stop the joint degeneration as well as improve its shock-absorbing ability. Individuals who choose to use these supplements will find it can take up to two months to enjoy the benefits.
The association of turmeric, boswellia and zinc may have an effect in decreasing pain in OA patients. Some other supplements like shark cartilage or green tea have shown promising results in animals but need more studies on humans.
Fortify the bones
A sufficient calcium and vitamin D intake is important to keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.
How much calcium and vitamin D do you need? Click here to find out!
Exercises for arthritis
Exercise as a natural arthritis treatment can be very beneficial to:
- relieves the stiffness in joints,
- strengthen muscles thus reducing stress on joints,
- keeps the bones and cartilage tissue strong and healthy and
- increases flexibility.
- helps to maintain weight
- releases endorphins (natural pain reliever)
- plays a vital role in your general health(blood circulation, sleep, etc)
You should choose exercises that are low impact like swimming and walking. At the same time, carrying weights as light as one pound and using the arms is a good way to improve the whole body’s health.
This ancient discipline involves many forms of stretching and pose-oriented exercises, breathing techniques and meditation. The combination of these techniques is extremely advantageous towards improving joint flexibility and function, reducing pain, lowering emotional stress and anxiety.
Even if you suffer from great limitations, you can modify postures to suit your needs. For exemple, Iyengar yoga allows participants to use chairs or other aids, for those who have flexibility and balance difficulties.
For over two thousand years, acupuncture has been a way for people to get rid of some body illnesses and pains. The insertion of needles into the skin stimulate targeted places in the body (acupoints), bringing about therapeutic results.
An important study on acupuncture and arthritis was conducted by the US National Institutes of Health. The study showed the positive effects of acupuncture on arthritis symptoms, as patients reported a 44 percent average reduction in pain and a 40 percent improvement in mobility.
Relaxation techniques are well known for their powerful effects on relieving stress. Stress is a very common cause of pain which can lead to headaches, eczema, arthritis, back pains, and other health conditions.
Meditation is a form of relaxation that shows immense benefits. It is used by people to achieve a relaxed state of mind and body. Aside from relieving pain, meditation can also maintain your overall health and it helps in boosting the body’s resistance against diseases.
Through meditation, the production of endorphins is enhanced so you can soon feel better.
Defining Your Natural Arthritis Treatment Plan
There are many alternative methods to find natural arthritis pain relief: an arthritis diet, exercise programs, relaxation, acupuncture.
After reading this article, maybe you where able to find one or a few methods you could implement in your life. For better results, your natural arthritis treatment plan should be holistic and include both physical and emotional methods. Remember that some methods take time to reveal their benefits; you need to stay motivated along the way.
ONE LAST TIP We advise you to see a doctor to find out exactly what type of arthritis you have. Knowing your specific type can help you learn how to take care of yourself more effectively. Check with your doctor first before using alternative therapies or following a special diet.
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